Sunday, 23 January 2011

First generation at ZT fight school Eastbourne

Its a great thing to see hard work and dedication result in something as amazing as the new ZT Fight school where my bjj coach Tolly is now located.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while can track how much bjj in Eastbourne has progressed in such a short space of time.

Tolly started teaching BJJ at canton martial arts when I returned from a months training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, it was there I got bitten by the grappling bug and had made up my mind that I had to master BJJ.
I didn’t realise at the time what a bold statement that was or how many hours of intense training were ahead of me, it was just a feeling I had at that moment in time and I felt driven to achieve it.

I kind of think of it as fate looking back as low and behold our school had managed to acquire a bjj coach, I wondered where they had spirited him from as Eastbourne is a small place. The class attracted a range of students, some who had a basic knowledge of grappling but for the majority a pack of uncoordinated and unconditioned novices who Tolly had the challenge of teaching the complicated art of bjj to.

Class was only 3 times a week but it developed a cult following with Tolly's friendly and expert coaching style and personality proving the key behind the groups quick progression. It was not too long before some of us became regulars on the competition scene going up against some of the bigger longer established clubs and often bringing back medals for our efforts.

I had a great introduction to BJJ and I can attribute all my initial success to having this great group of people to train with, we didn't have the best facilities or training available on tap like some of the bigger gyms but it just shows that quality of training can often prove more effective than quantity and having a good coach can make all the difference to your experience and confidence when learning a new skill.

After about a year of training every ones efforts were rewarded when we had our first grading with many students that had been there from day one receiving their blue belts. It was at this point that I left the UK and went to stay with my dad for a year in Bahrain

While I was away efforts continued back in Eastbourne with Tolly always having the ultimate goal of having a permanent location that would be a solid base for everyone and allow more regular training.
He continued to train hard in BJJ and developed an interest in MMA training at Zt fight school in Brighton and his profile was raised after a number of victories at well established ZT fight nights.
Not only focusing on his success he continued to help his students to achieve their goals with many having had victories in MMA.

This success helped to push things to the next level and saw Tolly move to a part time location at fitness first where the second grading was hosted with a huge turn out of students and continued support from Brazilian top team Black belt Ze Marcello.
His hard work was also rewarded when he received his brown belt from Ze Marcello and became afficliated with Icon BJJ. All the while the final pieces were being put into place. First generation BJJ was born and ZT fightschool opened their doors in Eastbourne.

When I saw the new club for the first time I was blown away not only by the amazing facilities but by what Tolly had actually managed to achieve in terms of taking a sleepy town like Eastbourne and putting it on the map as a hotspot for up and coming talent in all areas of combat. There are so many good fighters at the school but it also attracts people who just want to improve their fitness and enjoy martial arts. Due to the positive attitudes and the way in which the club developed this is something that can coexist with everyone feeling they are part of the club regardless of age gender or ability and its an atmosphere that is often missing from some clubs.

T thanks Sol Gilbert and all the guys at Zt, Ze, students friends and sponsers that have made everything a possibility

So if you are ever down south check it out
84 hammonds drive

Facilites include cage, boxing ring, large matted area and strength and condidioning equiptemnt
Classes in BJJ MMA submission wrestling Kick boxing, taekwondo, boxing with more to be being added all the time. Ladies only and kids/youth and gym membership also available.
For more information about classes and membership you can call Tolly on 07707541535

Or if you want to check of some of the talent at the next fight night you can grab tickets on the ZT website

Thursday, 6 January 2011

VO2 max and Metabolism

Wow my brain in super charged with exercise physiology today after another fun day of training. I did 2 sub maximal VO2 max tests today. A sub maximal exercise test is useful to find out how fit you are and make sure your body has a normal response to exercise i.e the heart, lungs and metabolism are functioning as they should.

My VO2max is 31.9 ml/kg/min, When you exercise the body requires more oxygen in order to turn ATP into energy which allows muscles to contract and work to continue. VO2 max is the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized by the body during whole body exercise.
My VO2 max value is moderate for my age around the 50th percentile, this is after a few months of being despicably inactive, I wonder how much VO2 would improve after a few months of getting back to training bjj regularly.

How important is VO2 max to those of us training BJJ?
As I mentioned VO2 is a good estimate of how fit you are, I went back to class for the first time in ages and it kicked my ass big time. Physiologically speaking I had lost a lot of muscle mass and my heart wasn't as efficient at getting oxygen to my working muscles. My body's ability to oxidise fat as an energy source was therefore reduced and could explain why I was felt so drained by the end of class.

When training at such an intense level my body had to start using up all my blood sugar and then all the stored muscle glycogen too. Based on my metabolism anything that causes my heart rate to beat at 165bpm (85% of my estimated HRmax) and my body favours carbohydrates as a fuel.
The efficiency of my heart at delivering oxygen to the muscles was pretty bad too which means I need to get my lazy butt to the gym for some cardio!

Knowing your VO2 max can help you if you are going to do additional sessions in the gym in an effort to increase fitness and can provide some interesting information regarding your metabolic function. Increasing metabolism can help to maintain or lose weight which seems to be an eternal battle for some of us.

It is important to remember that a good nutritional plan is even more important when you start training after a period of inactivity. As failing to get a good intake of carbohydrate post training can mean recovery is slow.
Often people will not eat a good meal after training (this can be due to appetite suppression that can occur up to 1h post exercise and training finishing late at night) and if you are trying to lose weight this can be ok as long as you are getting a good intake of carbohydrate through out the day, or don't have another training session in the next 24h.

Certain foods can actually slightly increase your metabolism and include spicy foods like chilli, and green teas. 60% of the calories you burn each day are a result of your basal metabolic rate which is the calories required to maintain normal body function. On top of that you will require differing amount of calories to provide the energy for daily tasks and exercise. You can use rmr or bmr calculators online to get an estimate of this value. Make sure you are sensitive to your body's needs as the equations used by these calculators assume that metabolism is the same for everyone of a certain age.

If you have been out of training and want to improve your fitness quickly the best thing to do is 15-30 minutes high intensity interval training daily and some light or body weight exercises and stretches to help reduce risk of injury. HIIT has been shown to improve VO2 max in as little as 2 weeks and also maybe more effective at fat burning particularly around the abdomen. To make it more bjj specific mix cardio and weights together and do 5-7 minute intervals with a 1-5 minute rest in between to mimic sparing.
Here are a couple videos for some exercise ideas both videos are a bit random but the exercises seemed well balanced and specific to bjj

When ever I have to take a break from training I really dread coming back when I know my fitness will not be so good it was interesting to have it scientifically confirmed but it will be useful to test my VO2 max again after a few months of training to see if it improves any.
So if your coming back to training after time off here are some recommendations.

1) Make sure you eat well increased carbohydrate/calorie intake after training might be necessary at first to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores until fitness picks up and the body becomes more efficient. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water
2) Do regular stretching and solo drills
3) Do some interval training using a mix of cardio and weights
4) Don't push your self too hard in sparing get back into things slowly avoid sparing with overly competitive people or anyone who's likely to take advantage of your less than peak physical condition (sounds bad but it happens)
5) Tape fingers (this might just be me playing too much guard but protect any areas you know are prone to injury)
6) Drill all the basics particularly escapes to get your mind focused again

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

I started a New years resolution!

I managed to snag not one but 2 really good deals for capoiera classes on groupon!!!
One is ten classes at capaoeira ceara in Bethnal green and the other is 5 classes at Tribo capoeira in Puteny. I've missed training capoiera since I left Bahrain so it will be nice to varey training up and makes sure I'm compleating at least on of my new years resolutions. If you arn't a member of groupon sign up they always have loads of good deals on exercise classes, keeping fit doesnt have to cost a bomb!

Its been an interesting start back at work as I have training this week so I can start doing the advanced health screens. These involve performing a submaximal VO2max test on the patients, a more detailed lung function test and also a grip strength and flexibility assessment.
Whats good is that I have more opportunity to interact and help people make some life style changes. We spent the day reviewing exercise physiology which was interesting. I'm going to start keeping a monthly record of my training and fitness as doing a VO2max will give me a good baseline of where I'm at seeing as I have been so lazy the last month.
In other news my cholesterol and blood glucose results were all normal and I got my flu job done. I have been sneezing like crazy and today I realised my coat is full of feathers and thats probably what was making me feel like crap haha.

As for the Europeans I guess I will see how I feel at training and go from there, I hate doing anything when I'm unprepared but again it would be a good chance to see what my goals should be and help gear me up for entering some bigger competitions this year.

I was in a pretty grumpy mood but cheered myself up reading a couple blogs by some other bjj girlies, its nice to know more and more girls are getting into bjj and it means as much to them as it does to me, it just gave me a good vibe! Trusty old blog patrol lets me see how people stumble upon my blog and doubles as a tool for catching up on other blogs I might have otherwise missed, anyways I will add them to my blog roll so you can enjoy them too so check it out.